Saturday, March 27, 2004

F. W. Pitkin to Mary Ann Lewis, c/o Lewis Hotchkiss, Connecticut, 1831

This stampless letter has a circular date stamp for Hartford Ct, a 'pointing hand' PAID, a handwritten 10 cent rate, and is addressed to Miss Mary Ann Lewis, care of Lewis Hotchkiss, Esqr., New Haven, and is a two+ page letter written by F.W. Pitkin.

The headline is East Hartford, April 11th 1831.

The writer was Frances Pitkin, sister of Samuel Pitkin (a state legislator) who married Mary Ann Lewis.

Some abstracts:

"The revival in this place still continues, Mr. Mead numbers sixty that are rejoicing in hope, and many more are anxious. Mr. Hawes of Hartford gave us an excellent sermon yesterday afternoon."

"Formerly he [brother] underwent almost every degree of fatigue and exposure ... rarely returns from New York without a cold, a swat of flaxseed tea however, in his case, effects a rapid cure."

"Excuse me from writing more at this time as it is Monday morning and I am informed that they are waiting for me in the kitchen to commence operations with my patent washing machine, a great and wonderful improvement, saving much time and hard labour, and moreover a very edifying & interesting process to Spectators."



I presume that we shall be obliged to go front in the spring camping. If so all right, but in less than six months I shall be free, then I shall keep so one day, I think, and let others try it. It is thought by many that we are likely to go with the Army of the Potomac, but it is evident by the move that we shall go soon somewhere, but we are all anxious to see the country.”

Charles R. Collins, March 28, 1864 4-page letter addressed from Camp Near Portsmouth, Va., March 28, 1864 and written to his, “Mother and Brother.”

The letter is written and dated through April 6, 1864, a few short weeks before his capture. a letter written by an Honor Roll victim of the deplorable Confederate prison in Andersonville, Ga.Charles R. Collins was from Chicopee, Massachusetts. He mustered into Company “D”, 27th Mass. Infantry on May 14, 1862. He was captured on May 16, 1864, at Drury’s Bluff, two years later. He died at Andersonville Prison on August 24, 1864. Charles Collins is buried at Andersonville National Cemetery, Grave 6714.


The letter is quoted below in its entirety.

Camp Near Portsmouth, Va.,
March 28, 1864

Dear Mother and Brother-- I shall endeavor to give you a detail of another move on the 19th. We had marching orders. Our two companies was relieved in Portsmouth by a portion of the 4th Rhode Island and on the 21st, the remainder of the Regt., except our Company, was relieved in Norfolk by the remainder of the 4th Rhode Island and the 13th N.H., and on the 22nd we had orders to move. It began to snow about eleven and blew as hard as ever you saw it in your life and about noon we started with all of our worldly effects upon our backs with our guns and equipments. Thus we marched 4 ½ miles to our camping ground. The ground was covered with snow. The boys undertook to pitch tents, but the wind took them down as fast as they could put them up. But fortunately the 10th N.H., Camp was near by.

Our officers told us to seek shelter where we could find it, as they were away to relieve a Regiment that was away on a furlough. We seen rough shelter within this nearly deserted camp. We was wet cold, and hungry, but we took a little stimulent which kept the spirits up alike [with] all soldiers. The snow fell about one foot deep. The next morning you might have seen us wading through the snow with our governments on (that is shoes) to get wood to keep us warm. We went about 1/4 mile…on the 24th we went and shoveled the snow to put up our tents. As luck would have it, our old boards came from our old tent and we stockaded our tent 4 ½ foot high, and we have got a Cibley stove in our tent, but as it has no bottom alike all such, we placed it on the terra firma and thus it will stand. Our family consists of five in number. Therefore, you can see that we have a jolly crew. Our floor consists of a few short boards flung on the ground.

On the 25th it commenced to rain and blow tremendous hard and continued to the most of the night. It drowned out a number of tents, crews, but we was all right. Thus you can see what pleasures the soldier’s experience. But these moves we call excursions, huts we are amongst the observers to be observed and have the pleasure to see the lay of the country and making for ourselves a new home. We have a beautiful camping found now. In front is a long line of breastworks and to our right is encampments at intervals, a number of miles. To our left is a creek. Near the bank is a house which is used for a hospital, still over the creek to our left, the breastworks extend to the River with forts at intervals throughout the entire line in front of the breastworks. The most of the way is a strong abuts which will trouble the Rebs to charge through. Our duties will be light I think. I have had nothing to do yet, but shall soon.

The 26th, it come off clear and nice, but the wind blows alike all March weather. But this morning, it is a beautiful morning. I presume that we shall be obliged to go front in the spring camping. If so all right, but in less than six months I shall be free, then I shall keep so one day, I think, and let others try it. March 29th, as I am off duties, I am compelled to resort to my such palace to shield myself from the inclemency of the weather as you may be fully aware that the weather here is windy and alike that of ours at our northern homes in the month of March, and at those times, loneliness of spirit takes possession of my mind and at those times, I resort to pen and thus give a description of the passing events.

Last night we had orders for the Second Brigade to march with three days’ rations and one hundred rounds of cartridges as our Regt. belongs to thus. You can see how we stood but before we began to get ready the order was countermanded. This is our style. It is thought by many that we are likely to go with the Army of the Potomac, but it is evident by the move that we shall go soon somewhere, but we are all anxious to see the country. April 6th. Yours of the 6th has been received in due time. I have just returned from a march from Trenton. We was two days. We saw no Rebs.

I have just received a letter from Aaron. He sent Laura’s photograph. The children are well. The last letter I had from Chicopee [was from] my little ? was sick with the lung fever, but she was out of danger. Frank Gleason has got his discharge but I have his brother that line and he was agoing to send it to him. I saw in your letter that you had received it so long that you was almost ashamed to write, but I can always find him, so answer letter now if you want to hear form me again very soon. You must write because we expect to take the field soon.

I have made up my mind that I will not write any more letters unless I can have my letters answered. You can take lines in the night or at least on the Sabbath day. I can excuse no one. The women can write. You must excuse all the mistakes and give my love to all, and be sure to write often. You know that you are fine and I am not.

This from a Brother…C.R.Collins.

Thomas Armstrong from John Cardwell, Virginia 1827

This stampless letter has a circular date stamp for CHARe. VA [Charlotte, Virginia], a handwritten 18 3/4 cent rate, and is addressed to Thomas T. Armstrong, Esqr., Germanton, Stokes county, N.C., It is a two page letter written by John P.[?] Cardwell.

The headline is Cumberland cty. Va Sept 29th, 1827.

Some abstracts:

"I received yours the day before yesterday together with a commission to take the depositons of Turpin Dupriest at Campbell C.H. on this very day; which, on account of the late arrival of your letter, I am utterly unable to do; as the distance is nearly or quite one hundred miles."

"Present my respects to Mrs. Armstrong and the rest of your family; I am doing tolerable business and come to N.C. when ever I think myself able to discharge what I owe & c. I must congratulate with you (I almost sd console) on account of your present representation in commons; Tell Mr Shepherd he has depreciated very much since I left Germanton."And he writes about some lost depositions.

E F Alling to Seth Keney, Connecticut 1848

This stampless letter has a circular date stamp for WESTVILLE Ct., a handwritten 5 cent rate, and is addressed to Seth A.B. Keney Esq., Burlington, Ct, and is a three page letter written by E.F. Alling.

The headline is Orange, Aug 5, 1848 (hope I'm reading the last digit in the year correctly, it might be 1840). If I'm correct, Orange was in New Haven county at the time.

Some abstracts: "Once more I feel myself free and instead of taking lessons from tutors & profs I am learning from nature herself. These old hills of ORange, bleak and barre as they are, teach a lesson to me."

"My mind finds a pleasing employment in calling back the memories of those who formerly were with me the p[??] of apple pear & peach orchards, melon gardens ..."

"College commencement went off in good shape. The orations, poem, etc. were good. Among the visitors at the commencement of the Wesleyan were many distinguished individuals. The Gov. of Conn & of R.I. were present with Revs. D.D. L.L.D.'s in any quantity. The graduating class numbered 25. The maj of them have engaged in teaching, some of them at the meager salary of $50 per year."

Benjamin Moore, Kingston NY 1817

I don't see a town marking on the old stampless letter, although there is a handwritten 10 cent rate in the usual place, at the upper right. It is addressed to Messrs. Mathw. [?] Vass [??], Po keepsie [Poughkeepsie], and is a one and one third a page letter written by Benj. J. Moore.

The headline is Kingston, 18th Nov., 1817. I assume that this Kingston is the one in Ulster county, New York. The 10 cent rate would be for 30 to 80 miles (but by road, not by how the 'crow flies').

Some abstracts:

"I agree to the proposals contained in your letter of 1th Inst., & will supply you with from 20 to 30 thousand merchantable Staves & Heading, an equal proportion of each, deliverable at the Strand dock, by the 1st Decr. 1817 ..."

"I would prefer in the quantity of Ale you send, at least from 12 to 15 Hhds [hogsheads] as it is supposed to keep Chitter [?] in them. I wish you to send a decent cooper to jude [sic] of the quality of the Staves & not the one to which I have heretofore objected."

"Mr. Lydig of the Buttermilk falls has made an offer for a Large quantity of Staves here, which has in some measure tended to maintain there former price."

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Eliza Harman Winder Miller, Iowa 1889

Name: Ann Winder
E- mail:

Envelope addressed to: Mrs. E.E. Garber, Aspin, Pitkin Co., Colorado

Feb the 14 /89
Eldon, Iowa

Dear Children

I will write you a few lines in answer to your ever welcome letter that I got some time ago and should of rote ere this but I was over to Batavia to see the children they are all well I am still mending slowly dad(1) is not any better I think he is geting worse all the time J H Winder(2) and family are all well B J Harman(3) has bin verry sick but is about again the rest of our folks are all well as far as I no John Allens house burnt down last Sep and they moved up to Appanoos co near to uncle Allen Harman Charly Carter is married him and Tamma Winder has joined the Cambelites(4) up at bladensburg the methodist episcopal and the free methodist have bin having meeting for six weeks but they did not get many converts Dave Brown joined they broke up last thursday I slept in our old house it did not seem like home as everything in the house belong to some body els but the three corner cubbord we have sold some of our things or rather give them away we have had the nicest winter that I ever seen in Iowa it is raining some little now I will go to docks(5) in the spring if I live(6) if dad don't get helpless if he does of corse I can't leave him if I can't help him but if he can travel and wont go he can stay where he is the folks are verry good to me but I cant feel at home like I do with my own children I feel satisfied it will ware out for dad is enough to wair any of them out and as for me to be draged from one place to another I cant stand it he is not contented any place but a little while I never was used to that way of doing and I don't feel as if I ever can If I had better health it probable would be different Dock Shag says he can cure him I want him to try him and see what he can do but I have my doubts about it and I don't think it is rite for my children to take care of him either they all three say that if they had their choice they would take me before him they did not tel me but they have told others neither of them likes the way he has treated me polly gave me a scolding the other day because I dont talk back and give him fits when he flies all to peaces about nothing but I think he can do as he pleases if he thinks their is no here-after but that is enough of that I will stop Ellen my heart akes for you when I think of your trouble but don't greive for your darling but think of your little angels that you have in heaven(7) by by for this time

Write soon
Mother to all

1. A reference to her second husband Martin Miller (abt. 1797-1893)
2. John Henry Winder, Eliza's son (1847-1930)
3. Benjamin J. Harman, Eliza's brother (1828-???)
4. Campbell, Alexander, 1788-1866, clergyman, cofounder of the DISCIPLES OF CHRIST; b. Ireland. His father, Thomas Campbell, 1763-1854, came to the U.S. in 1807 and settled in Pennsylvania, where he withdrew his congregation from the Presbyterian Church. Alexander came to the U.S. in 1809 and joined his father's followers, known as Campbellites. Nominally Baptists (c.1812-c.1827), they advocated a return to scriptural simplicity and became the Disciples of Christ. Alexander founded (1840) Bethany College in West Virginia.
5. Her son, Marcellus Duane Winder, presumably because of his initials, was referred to as "Doc".
6. Eliza died soon after she wrote this letter, 26 Feb 1889.
7. Molly's note: Elizabeth Ellen Winder and David Garber's daughter Ruthie Inez Garber died at age 3 on December 9, 1888 in Aspen and their daughter Bertha Eunice Garber died at about age 15 on March 22, 1889 in Aspen. Elizabeth's husband David Henry Garber died May 22, 1889 in Aspen.

Notes: Written by Eliza Harman Winder Miller shortly before her death in 1889. Eliza and her first husband, Thomas Winder, migrated from Ohio where they were born and married to Iowa in 1842. Thomas left for the goldfields and died there, after which Eliza married Martin Miller.

See for Eliza's pedigree

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Letter to Mr. George S. Riley, Rochester, Monroe County, [New York], from Henry T. Spencer, Albany, New York, April 6, 1849

Name: Phillip F. Schlee
E- mail:

Friday Morning April 6th 1849 –

My Dear Riley,

If I were to guess twice I should say you had relieved your friend Hugh and me, in case I should have the pleasure of forming his acquaintance, from “victimizing” you, for you have done a noble deed in writing me a letter, which letter was received last Saturday evening. I “rayther” thought that little effusion of mine – I can’t call it a letter – from Catskill, would remind you of a claim a friend of your’s in Albany had upon you in the way of correspondence, and would suggest to you the propriety of attending to it at your earliest convenience. Your apologies for not writing are entirely satisfactory, and I can assure you that my “abilities to victimize a body” will not be brought into requisition in your case.

My hint in the joint letter from Catskill about the second edition, was merely a joke, as I knew you would write as soon as you could find time, consequently you can draw a line across any impression you may have received in relation to my considering you negligent. Your letter is just such a one as I like to receive, — a long, friendly letter, full of humor and not a few hits. But my dear fellow, I’m not going to let those hits pass unrewarded, for merit should always meet with its reward, and, as, (like the man who auctionizes razors,) I have “a few of the same sort left,” I shall “show ‘em up” seasoned and dressed, free of charge!

How well versed are you in the science of architecture! I had supposed you knew something about building, and as you are a man of taste (I don’t mean in the way of eating!) I knew, that if you didn’t originate a plan, you would suggest or rather select one for me that would meet with my approval! “You do me honor overmuch” in giving me the credit of inventing a hall, but if I must shoulder the responsibility I’ll tell you what I will do – I’ll sell you the right of sale, and what is more, it shall be exclusive, so that you needn’t have any fears of interference from any quarter! What do you think of my proposition? I presume we can strike a bargain by the time you reply, as you have had the “golden opportunity” of seeing the original model!

You seem to think I can’t make a “pecuniary fortune” out of this matter, because there is danger of my making the hall my own. Why Riley, is it possible you appreciate my effort for your welfare, so little? If you only knew of the fatigue, mentally and physically, I have undergone, the anxiety, “by day and night, with which I have been afflicted, and all for your good, you would at least say – thank you sir; but no, you very cooly insinuate there is danger in store for me, and cast reflections upon what I have done for you!!

Truly I shall begin to think that men as well as republics are ungrateful! Let me see, – you left here about four weeks ago, and I must put on my thinking cap, so as to let you know what has transpired. Our friend Miss Peck over the way, (not “the left”) is well, and to all appearances perfectly contented. I have called upon her three times since you left, not including the time I took her to the gallery of fine arts.

By the way Riley, we spent a delightful afternoon at the gallery, looking at the “pictures” and making perfect criticisms, and I rather think that if Durand or some other artist, could have heard my wise sayings, they would be able to blend colors to a charm – Egotism!

I was at Mr Meder’s a week ago last Monday evening, taking my flute of course, and just as I had got fairly seated, in came Belden, to hear the music. After the preliminaries were gone through with in the way of talking, we “tuned up” and went at it. We played the flute and piano music about an hour, when I was summoned to try my abilities in the way of eating oranges, and between you and your subscriber, I imagine Miss P thought I was fond of them, for I made out to eat three! It wasn’t my fault however, for she insisted upon my making them scarce, as it would improve my voice, which she said she hoped to hear soon. After discussing Peckinek, and Millerizing for about half an hour, I went to the piano, and now I must tell you a scene that occurred, that goes ahead of anything in the papers of that far famed club. Prepare your visibilities, but first take the precaution to ward off any accident that may happen to your life, for I feel too great an interest in that portion of your frame to have it injured!! I took my seat before the piano, Belden stowed himself away in “the old arm chair,” at my left and Miss P took her seat at my right. After singing two or three songs, I commenced “The Rainy day,” and when I struck the last note, all was still. Not a word was said for about 20 seconds, which you know, in some circumstances is “a considerable length of time.” Belden was gently musing with thoughts best known to himself, and Miss P was leaning upon her hand, when she suddenly broke the silence with the following: Mr Spencer, how beautifully you will sing when you get to Heaven! What a shout of laughter there was from my friend on my left. He left the chair instantly fearing a wedging in from the timidity which followed his shout, while I scraped and invoked the graces to assist me in acknowledging the compliment in a becoming manner! After a while we succeeded in composing ourselves, though the twinkle in Belden’s eye, was one of the laughing kind during the rest of the evening.

Now Riley wasn’t that a compliment: I think I shall have to believe I can sing after this, and must make arrangements to give concerts. You can readily imagine I spent a delightful evening, when I tell you it was nearly — don’t speak of it, 12 when I left. Your friends the Misses Lansing are well; at all events they were a few evenings since, for McLean and I spent a delightful evening there. Miss Alida (is that her name?) is visiting some friends in Saratoga, and will be absent about two weeks. — I was in the gallery a few evenings since, and saw the Misses Gallup. They were looking very well, and spoke of you in very friendly terms. You have made some warm friends here Riley, and you must wend your way down here occasionally. So keep up the acquaintance.

I expect to take tea at the Gallup’s before long, and with the ladies, will have the pleasure of toasting your health, and saying all sorts of good things, over the tea. I havn’t seen Miss Colburn since you left, so that I cannot tell you how she is, though I presume she is well: I must call them soon, and will give you something more definite the next time I write.

By the way Riley, speaking of the Gallups, reminds me of the promise you extorted from Miss Lucy to caudelize me for prescribing so severe a remedy for your life! Now be it known to you, that she has declined making the attack although I introduced the subject some time ago. I met the three sisters one evening at Mr Woods – the first interview I had after you left, and when I told Miss Lucy, I was ready to submit to the torture, she declined doing it in as much as I had asked her sister, before asking her, which was the person who had made the arrangement with you. I told her I had prepared an elaborate argument for the purpose of defending myself; but not a word would she say, and what is more, she said she couldn’t think of “victimizing” me after making myself so agreeable! Now my dear fellow, where is your revenge? It is a great pity you can’t have “even-handed justice”!

Speaking of Miss G suggests to me the propriety of inquiring about that lip, for I always take a great interest in persons put under my charge! There is a great remedy for cracked lips called Nitrate of Silver, and if yours should continue to trouble you, wouldn’t it be well to make an application of it? The remedy, your should know, is severe, and it may turn your lip black, but what are these temporary inconveniences when compared with the permanent deprivation of the one, – the pleasure of laughing. I recollect, once upon a time, of seeing a friend with a sore lip, and when anything amusing occurred, he was compelled to embrace it, affectionately between his thumb and finger, for fear of opening the fissure! Now I would advise you to try the remedy, for it will both cure and beautify – not that you need any of the last mentioned particular! I think you will be able to get the remedy of some of your Rochester physicians, but if you cannot, send me word, and I will forward you the genuine article!!

I saw McLean last evening, and he wanted me to say to you, he would write as soon as he could find time. His sisters are here now, which of course, precludes the possibility of writing at present. He says the Madison University is safe, and he shall expect therefore, the oysters when he meets you in Rochester. I feel sometimes, like being a member for an hour or two – that is when I am hungry! I hope you will attend to his inner man, for he has labored well, for the people of your good city. I don’t know of anything more in this city of the Knickerbockers that will interest you. Sociables are low in the scale, and parties an unknown. As for myself, I have read a little more than when you were here, and have had the delightful pleasure of cupping and applying blisters! Occasionally I have had to prescribe for a patient at the Delevan, and much to my satisfaction, have relieved her. How very, very considerate you were, not to tell the Misses J___ E of the “great danger in which I was placed”! But you forgot one thing, viz, that Physicians rarely take the disease of their patients, which circumstance I hope you will tell them, in case you should see fit to tell them of my practice! It will be a source of consolation, and I hope you will bear it in mind!

I am going to New York about the middle of next week to visit the hospitals. I have been shut up so long, that I think an absence of a few days will do me good. By the way Riley, I wish your friend Hugh was there now, for I should do myself the pleasure of calling upon him. When will he return? I hope you will bear in mind, your promise, to send a letter of introduction by him, for I should like much to form his acquaintance. I must stop now, for the doctor has some business for me which must be done soon. I have had “a thousand and one” interruptions since I began this letter, which will account for my beautifully rounded periods! Be so good as to remember me to the Misses J___ z and S___ n, as I have had the pleasure of seeing them a few times. McLean and Miss H___ ? wish to be remembered, and I presume your other acquaintances would send the same message, if they knew I was writing you. — I hope you will write soon, for like Oliver Twist I cry for “more.”

Hoping you will appease my hunger soon, I remain Your Sincere Friend
Henry T. Spencer –

Notes: Letter to Mr. George S. Riley, Rochester, Monroe County, [New York], from Henry T. Spencer, Albany, New York, April 6, 1849; from the Phillip F. Schlee Collection.

Letter to Thomas B. Gould, Newport, Rhode Island, from Quaker John King, Ledyard, Cayuga County, New York, February 5, 1855

Name: Phillip F. Schlee
E- mail:

Ledyard, Cayuga County N. Y.
2 mo. 5 1855

My dear Friend Thomas B. Gould

Although I have written two letters to thee which remain unanswered, I felt this evening again like taking the pen to let thee see that thou hast still a place in my affectionate remembrance, that I realize no abatement of that true nearness and unity of feeling towards thee, which I have long entertained, being enabled cordially to embrace thee as a brother beloved; and I hope and believe that nothing different to this is entertained by thee towards myself.

Since my last communication quite a change has taken place in the general aspect of matters, but now particularly in Ohio and consequently in Philadelphia Yearly Meetings: although we have much to regret the weakness observable, in relation to coming up promptly to Truth and consistency, in at once avowing that unity of spirit which all must realize one with another, who continue as branches of the living vine, that they may be enabled to show forth the fruits of the spirit, love, gentleness, long-suffering[,] charity, and all those virtues which alone compact us together as the living temple, entirely consecrated to the Lord of Hosts, yet I must desire that those who may be compared to some formerly, who saw men as trees walking, may be ultimately favored to see things as they really are; for unless there is an abiding in the Truth, we cannot truly and entirely acknowledge those who dwell in it.

As we severally endeavor to keep our places in the Church of Christ, looking to Him who has all power both in heaven and in earth, for our daily sustenance, and for strength to do all which He requires in the eternal and invincible authority of Truth and in the innocence of the Lamb immaculate; He will bring about results in His own good pleasure and time (which is ever the best time,) marvellous in our view; but what a mercy during the commotion of the elements, while those who act in the unsanctified and corrupt nature are suffering a cushing abrasion, as they are set in motion by the human will, to find that we are safely held, as in the hollow of the Divine hand, hence none are able to pluck us, and to trample us, as under their feet.

I was much interested in a letter thou wrote to Joshua Maule giving an account of thy journey through Ohio and Pennsylvania, a copy of which he kindly sent me, and although I had deeply to regret that there was that full unity wanting in regard to embracing our New England Friends then present, as brethren, as well as fully acknowledging both your meeting and ours, both on their own account and on ours, yet I was much gratified to find that so much kindness and sympathy was shown thee by others: and above all, I think there is great cause for gratitude, that the Good Master was pleased to be near thee, enable thee to divide the word aright, and as I think was the case, to give general satisfaction wherever He was pleased to direct thee.

I have understood that thou has some prospect of visiting our next Yearly Meeting, which I hope if consistent with His precious will, who directs all things rightly, thou may be able to accomplish: Should thou do so, if it seem pleasant and best to thee, it would be gratifying to me if thou would make my house thy lodging place. Our valued Friends Ezra and Phebe Haines attended our last Y. M. and I hope were upon the whole pretty well satisfied; and Oh! that we may be favored so to live that in condescending mercy He may still deign to be near us; to enable us in the meekness of eternal wisdom to keep all from amongst us displeasing in His Holy sight; that we may each and all dwell in the mind of one formerly who said; “One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that will I seek after, to dwell in the house of the Lord, and inquire in His temple”; and as we are living stones of His church or temple, He will answer our enquiries, be our guardian, our guide and sure reward and a counsellor in the needful time.

Please to inform thy wife that Susannah Marriott still continues to enjoy a comfortable state of health. In love to thyself, wife and family, my wife and Susannah Marriott uniting with me Thy affectionate friend John King A few lines from thee would be acceptable.

Notes: Letter to Thomas B. Gould, Newport, Rhode Island, from John King, Ledyard, Cayuga County, New York, February 5, 1855; from the Phillip F. Schlee Collection.

Letter to Arthur G. Hatch, Paris, France, from “Perce” – Moore, Low & Sanford, Attorneys & Counsellors, New York, 1884

Name: Phillip F. Schlee
E- mail:

New York,
July 14th 1884

Dear Garcon;

I take this opportunity when there is a great lull in the office to speak a few words to you. I am thoroughly bachelor in my habits this summer, as my brother’s family have closed house, and I have to board alone. This does not disturb very much however the evenflow of my spirits as now I can do just about as the Devil prompts me without the intervention of anybody. I am beginning thus to flounder around to suit my cue something after the fashion set by the worthy Garc.

The Fourth was spent quietly, but pleasantly at the Overlook Mountain House in the Catskills. Though the extended view over miles of country was very fine from a picturesque point of view, still from a romantic point of view the swift crowd of young married people at the Hotel quite surpassed it. Picture to yourself the romance of a gang of apparent ladies playing poker for cash, with a theatrical managress in their midst to lead them on, and you have an idea of my associates in the mountains for a day or two. Society’s mouth would be distorted with horror, and his eyes sink in their sockets at the idea of the lovely sex polluting themselves for filthy lucre.

Far from being troubled about the gals I was very much amused at their innovation, the theatrical gamester particularly, who was thoroughly bent on winning her stakes, and was all smiles as she increased her hoarded pile, till the tide turned and swept away every penny, in the last four hands, leaving her $15 short. I do not encourage such conduct on the part of women, but I confess a fondness for the deviltry and mirth the Catskill girls inspired. The stereotyped perfect lady, straitlaced and conservative as she is, is too often a very unattractive creature to me. Give me something spicy, though it may not be over nice.

Cyrus and myself are planning to take a bicycle trip through the Berkshire Hills the fore part of next month. We probably will take in “Society” for two or three days and get a taste of his swift Saratoga life. If I can ever learn to ride a machine without breaking my neck, I don’t care so much. We expect to be gone about two weeks, and to scoop in whatever side shows and cocktails the country may afford.

By the way Cyrus read me a letter received from our Saratoga Swell, in which the latter recounts his delightful picnic tramps with the daisies. Told how charming it was to eat raspberries and cream under the umbrageous bows of Saratoga’s oaks, with something soft and tender chattering away by his side. Such toughs as you and I in Miny’s opinion were never born to appreciate his quiet little episodes. Remember how he used to run off to Boston to “catch on” to the “faeries” without our knowing it. Business is a little dull just now, and it is only a little incident occasionally that enlivens things. For instance this morning the youngest member of the firm came in as full as a goat. He has been off on a summer “tout,” but he found that his empty pocket had such a drawing towards the cash draw that it wouldnt do to keep the one from supplying the other.

See to it Garcie that you keep your head in Paris, the city of magnificent avenues, and every avenue leading to still more magnificent women and most enticing parlors of dissipation. Put me in the French capitol and I doubt whether my virtue would amount to much more than Hamilton’s did, who was reputed to be virtuous so far as it went, that is down to his pants.

Remember me to your friend Jewett. I hope you are having a glorious time. Make the most of it while you are at it. Address me # 102 Broadway. (written in right margin on last page) How did your ocean voyage and the society of the ladies blend together? Charles sends his regards

Your esteemed friend Perce.

Notes: Letter to Arthur G. Hatch Esq., American Exchange, Paris, France, from “Perce” – Moore, Low & Sanford, Attorneys and Counsellors, New York, July 14, 1884; from the Phillip F. Schlee Collection

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

John Schoolfield to Dr. Schoolfield, Virginia, 1834

This stampless letter has a circular date stamp for HICKSFORD Va, a handwritten 12 1/2 cent rate, and is addressed to Dr. Schoolfield, Portsmouth, Va., and is a three page 'My Dear Father' letter written by Jno. H. Schoolfield.

The headline is Fortsville, October 27, 1834.

From what I could find on the internet, the Dr. Schoolfield in Portsmouth would be Dr. Joseph Schoolfield, who was a Surgeon's Mate during the War of 1812.

Some abstracts:

"The only circumstances of interest that come to my knowledge, are of a political nature, which you see in the papers. And they are of such a character, that I can not contemplate this with any sort of complacency. The administration party are safe unless they expire of plethora. I can not say that I so much regret the defeat of the opposition in New Jersey."

"But I must say I was chagrined & mortified at the result of the Georgia election, there was a contest of principle."

"The mortality which has prevailed in Portsmouth is truly startling. I was pleased to hear that the Portsmouth General had made so appropriate a selction. General Hodges in a man, whom no consideration of an improper nature could have swerved from the path his judgement dictated, he did not shake his course for the purpose of office."

"There are some doubts, whether Dr. Harrison, our Southampton delegate will obey the mandate of the people, if he should refuse, he will have a rough road to travel & very little comfort for the balance of his natural life."

"Mr. Mason requests me to mention to you that Mr. James French, the son of the tavern keeper in Norfolk, has some idea of establishing an administration paper in Norfolk, he wishes you to call on him & talk with him on the subject ..."

"Present my affectionate regards to my dear mother & all other friends."

Mentions a book, John Randolph's letters, and suggests that Joseph (jr.?) should read it before going off to college.

Letters & Postcards on E-Bay